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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Student Government

Candidates challenge disqualification

The Student Government Association Court of Appeals will decide whether or not to uphold the Election Commission’s decision to disqualify four candidates at 8 p.m. today in the Large Conference Room in the University Center Underground.

Michael McHugh and Mohammed Aijaz, who ran for president and vice president, filed separate appeals from Laxmi Ramana and Brandon Balwant, who ran for Natural Sciences and Mathematics senate seats, on March 21.

Both appeals claimed the Commission did not adhere to the Election Code when disqualifying the candidates and said the students be reinstated to the position they were elected to in SGA.

McHugh and Aijaz filed their appeal through Houston attorney Jolanda Jones, in which they said the Election Commission violated six clauses of the SGA Election Code — including the timeliness of the registration of the complaints and exclusion of the names of the complainants.

The Court of Appeals has one class day after the hearing to file its written ruling with the Election Commission, the SGA President, the Speaker of the Senate, the appellant and the complainant, according to the Election Code.

The SGA Advisor will implement the rulings, according to the Election Code.

The candidates were originally disqualified when the Election Commission found them guilty of using other students’ personal information to vote in the SGA elections, according to the Election Commission’s decision.

“Few members from the McHugh-Aijaz party were approaching students with a ‘petition’ that was ostensibly for a request to fix the faucets in the library,” the decision said.

“A student who filled out the petition which asked for first name, last name, people soft, birthday, classification and college that they are enrolled in which is the same information as needed to cast a vote in the SGA election.”

McHugh and Aijaz said the decision did not follow the Election Code.

“The impact of the Commission’s decision undid a lawful election and denied the Appellants Due Process. The appeal is based on frivolous allegations and violations of the Election Code by unknown complainants and other co-conspirators, all of whom have political agendas and motives against the Appellants,” said McHugh and Aijaz’s appeal.

The Election Commission and appellants declined to comment.

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